In april, we meet Sara Lukins Segerstrom. After graduating from the teacher training programme, she moved to London to broaden her horizons. Today she teaches mathematics at a private school. She also leads the school’s mathematics department.
Name: Sara Lukins Segerstrom
Current work and location: Mathematics teacher at an independent school in London, UK (ages 11–18).
What did you study at Linnaeus University and when did you graduate?
– I studied on the teacher training programme. I started in 2001 and graduated in January 2006. I took a break before I completed my studies – teaching mathematics at upper secondary school level – and then completed my teacher training with specialisation mathematics, Swedish and music.
What professional field do you work in now?
– I work at a school, so in the education sector. I guess this also relates to child development.
What are the highlights of your job and what are the biggest challenges?
– The most fun part is the daily interactions I have with my pupils, with their parents and with other members of staff. Not a single day is the same or even the slightest bit boring. My work is generally very rewarding.As I grow as a teacher, the job becomes ever more complex and I am always developing. The job includes a lot of room for learning and personal growth. One challenge is the pressure on me to always perform. It’s hard to settle and think; ‘well, that’s good enough and the best I can do’. It’s important to realise that you can’t do everything all the time.
How did you establish your career after your completing your studies at Linnaeus University?
– After graduating from Linnaeus University, I moved to London in March 2006 to work as a nanny for a year, but this turned into a much longer period as I built a routine and felt at home here. After working as a nanny for three years, I worked as a T.A. for a while. Then, I decided to take a course to become certified to teach in the UK. After that, in 2010, I started working at the independent private school where I still work today, as a mathematics teacher. The school has offered me the opportunity to try different roles and over the years I have been in charge of the PSHE department (personal, social, health and economic education), head of year 9, and since September last year I lead the school’s mathematics department.
How was your student life at Linnaeus University?
– My student experience was nice. I had a shared dormitory and studied in Kalmar. I had a lot of friends and my sister, who studied at the university as well, was very well settled in. In my spare time I trained on a soccer team.
How did you come into contact with the labour market during your study time?
– We were able to go out in the community and train at least twice with local schools, although it would have been really nice to have had even more training experience.
What do you take with you thanks to your studies? Is there anything special you have been able to do thanks to your education?
– My studies have taught me a lot that I can apply in my career and further development.
What is your relation to Linnaeus University today?
– I’m looking forward to getting in touch with the mathematics education in Sweden. I’m waiting for a reply from Linnaeus University. I have done quite a bit of interesting stuff and I feel that I can make use of my experience and share from it with other students at some point.
Can you give some career advice?
- Your work takes up a pretty large proportion of your time, so it’s a good idea to choose something that you enjoy!
- Whatever you choose to do, do it well and with pride.
- Don’t think that things can’t change and will always remain the way they are – speak up and bring about change within your workplace if you believe in it!
- Be open to trying new things and keep learning. Stagnation is rarely a good thing.
Is there anything else you would like to mention to our readers?
– I can really recommend living and working abroad; it has enabled me to learn more skills and also broadened my horizons.